Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)

Despite rumours, Surrey RCMP say they are not issuing tickets to people if they are driving in a vehicle with others from a different household. (File photo)

Rumours of vehicle-occupant address checks untrue, say Surrey RCMP

COVID-19 enforcement about education, says Cpl. Joanie Sidhu

Despite rumours to the contrary, the Surrey RCMP say officers are not conducting COVID-19 compliance road checks and examining IDs to make sure passengers are all from the same household.

Surrey RCMP Cpl. Joanie Sidhu told Peace Arch News Friday morning that “we’ve heard those rumours, too,” but such checks are not happening.

“It’s not true. We are not doing COVID-compliance checks in vehicles,” she said.

The subject of road checks was brought up after a handful of residents on social media suggested that a police officers were checking IDs at a road block near the South Surrey Park and Ride on King George Boulevard Thursday evening.

Sidhu could not confirm a road check was carried out at that location, but said if there had been one, it would have been a standard road check, with officers looking for impaired drivers, among other driving infractions.

• READ ALSO: Surrey’s COVID-19 compliance team issues 11 tickets so far for November

However, while tickets are not being handed out for COVID-19 non-compliance at these stoppages, Sidhu said if officers do see rules being broken, they may take the opportunity to education passengers on the rules.

“We want to gain compliance through education,” she said, adding that there is no provision or order for officers to write tickets for having people from multiple households in one vehicle.

Sidhu also debunked a related rumour – that RCMP officers are actively approaching tables of people at busy restaurants and checking to make sure all diners were from the same home.

Sidhu said officers have been doing “pro-active checks” at businesses since the pandemic began back in the spring, but those visits are focused more on the businesses than the customers – making sure that all COVID-19 safety protocols are in place.

However, Sidhu reiterated that officers, if they see COVID rules being skirted, may choose to remind individuals about the current health orders.

“While an officer is at at business doing a check, they are well within their enforcement rights to make those inquiries, so it’s possible that an officer may have asked that question, but… what’s more important here, that they are asking the question or that people are doing things they shouldn’t be doing?

“It’s the responsibility of the citizens to make sure they’re complying. If Dr. Bonnie Henry says you shouldn’t be going to restaurants with people who aren’t in your household, then you shouldn’t be doing that.”

Sidhu also pointed out that in some cases, no matter the scenario, education is what is needed – especially for those people who are not as plugged into current events as others.

“There are always people are don’t use social media or don’t follow the news, so we understand that there are people out there who simply don’t know what the orders are, or don’t know how to follow them. For those individuals, it’s our goal to give them that information,” she said.

That said, individuals will only get so many chances.

“If we see that once a person has been given that education there are still more instances of non-compliance, then chances are they will be issued a ticket,” Sidhu said.

“It really depends on the situation. If, through our officers’ investigation, they determine that someone is being willfully blind to the rules, or they’re trying to find those loopholes, they’ll be issued a ticket, but… sometimes it is clear that a person just isn’t aware, and those are the people we want to help.”



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read